If trends continue for another two weeks, Donald Trump will fail to win the presidency. But he may not go quietly back to where he came from. Before it has even taken place, he’s threatening to contest the results of the election on the grounds that it is rigged.
Hillary pointed out in debate number three that whenever things don’t go Trump’s way, he claims the deal was rigged. When he didn’t win an Emmy, for example. But Trump doesn’t content himself with whining like a spoiled child when thwarted. He takes people to court and ties them up for years. Hr tries to get even for every real and imagined slight. Vengeance is his, not the Lord’s.
There is some question whether even Trump is rich, delusional, touchy and malicious enough to bring suits in fifty sates and 3,144 counties, But he could certainly make a gaudy, divisive, soap opera out of the election’s aftermath. It would prevent him from having to admit he was a loser and keep him center-stage for a little longer. And it would rain on Hillary’s parade.
Presumably cooler heads would prevail. Election boards, judges and elected Republicans unwilling to be dragged down another rabbit hole by Trump would restore a semblance of normalcy. For 220 years, power has passed smoothly from one administration to another. And no one other than Tump is anxious to break that string.
For his part Trump may be planning to start his own Fox News, Drudge Report or Breitbart to keep hopelessness alive, and to marinate his zealous followers in a daily bath or Trumpian ire, grievance, conspiracy and misinformation.
The bigger outstanding question is whether a Clinton administration will be permitted to proceed in normal fashion after January 20, 2017. The experience of her predecessor doesn’t auger well.
Famously, a cabal of Republicans (including Reps. Eric Cantor (Va.), Paul Ryan (Wis.), and Jeb Hensarling (Texas) and Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), and Bob Corker (Tenn.) along with hangers-on Newt Gingrich and Frank Luntz), met the day of Obama’s first inaugural to plan how they could make his administration stillborn.
They would cooperate on nothing. They would obstruct everything. They would deny his presidency the ability to govern by every means possible and run out the clock until they’d have another chance to install a president of their own party. Thus, eight years of gridlock.
Will Hillary face a more cooperative Congress? Don’t count on it. If anything the Trump campaign has made Washington more polarized than ever. And as Trump and his enablers asserted endlessly, Hillary’s handling of government emails, the fund raising of the Clinton Foundation, and the supposed pay-for-play of her State Department all make her guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.
The Republicans just tried to play the four corners offense against Obama. Against Hillary, even more extreme measures may be in the offing. Republicans in Congress may not be able to “lock her up,” as Trump crowds are encouraged to chant, but they can bury her in endless investigations with hopes of arriving at Articles of Impeachment. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the proces begin the second her hand leaves the Bible on which she is sworn in.
If the prospect of a Trump presidency was grizzly, the prospect of what the aggrieved hate wing of the GOP may try to do to ruin a Clinton administration is even worse. Does this sound like another crackpot conspiracy theory? Maybe I’ve become infected with Trumpthink after a year of exposure.